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DESERTEC-Australia Announces HVDC Supergrid Petition Drive

May 1, 2009 - Stewart Taggert - Desertec- Australia

In the UK and Europe, civil society groups are organising to get transmission grid upgrades onto domestic political agendas.

DESERTEC-Australia believes such upgrades are crucial to an Australian clean energy future as outlined in "Australia 2050: Clean Energy Superpower."

In the study, DESERTEC-Australia argues that an initial High-Voltage Direct Current Power line laid between Queensland and South Australia will open up the 'near Outback' for large-scale development of solar and geothermal energy.

This could be followed by rollout of other high capacity power lines deeper into the Outback.

To promote this vision, DESERTEC-Australia wants to get an effort underway similar to those in Europe. DESERTEC-Australia sees a petition drive as a good first step, which could be followed up by presentations to civil society groups, conferences and other forms of outreach.

Strategy would be decided by volunteers, most likely discussed through a Google Group.

At present, DESERTEC-Australia knows of two templates: the Early Day motion in the UK Parliament and the e-Parliament's Supergrid petition. Together they now have more than 300 signatures.

If DESERTEC-Australia gets involved this could add dozens or hundreds more signatures to these efforts, creating the foundation for an integrated global effort.

In the UK, an Early Day motion is an official request a particular issue be discussed in parliament at the earliest possible opportunity. With hundreds of motions in the queue, non ever really gets discussed in parliament, so the main aim is to indicate the priorities of the participatory electorate who attach their names to various motions.

On that metric, DESERTEC-UK's Early Day Motion has done well, ranking roughly 35th out of nearly 1,500 'open' Early Day Motions with 146 signatures.

The e-Parliament is a exercise in online democracy. It aims to use new communications technology to create a kind of symbolic, fledgling cross-border cyber democracy that can grow with time. The aim of course, is to provide another means of making existing systems of democracy more responsive to the voices of the populaces they govern.

The e-Parliament's Supergrid petition has gathered 114 signatures. It includes functionality allowing comments from signatories, a feature that could be incorporated into any DESERTEC-Australia effort.

If you're interested in joining this effort, please let Stewart Taggart know. Also, please consider signing the petition below, which can serve as the initial focal point of a DESERTEC-Australia campaign. As above, DESERTEC-Australia welcomes volunteers, particularly those with experience in online organising.


Climate Change is a serious and growing problem. Australia, and much of Asia, may be among the worst losers from a dramatically altered climate.

We support an aggressive shift by Australia toward low greenhouse gas emission energy sources in years to come such as wind, solar, geothermal and wave energy. In Australia's case, many of these resources are located in the nation's Outback, where connection to the national electricity grid does not yet exist.

We call upon the Australian government to step up support of low emission, renewable energy sources through long-lived fiscal incentives, but also to encourage investment in national transmission system upgrades that will enable large-scale solar and geothermal energy generated from the nation's Outback to be carried to the cities over High Voltage Power Lines.

To add your name, please click here to be taken to the form.


DESERTEC-Australia also developed the roadmaps below for how Australia's individual states can contribute to the retooling of Australia's and Asia's energy economy.
South Australia
New South Wales
Western Australia

DESERTEC-Australia is a member of the global DESERTEC community. It promotes development of solar energy resources from desert regions.
To learn more about DESERTEC elsewhere, please visit:

Stewart Taggart staggart@desertec-australia-org